Joliet II: Richie Stevens Saturday summary

STEVENS GRABS NO. 4 IN CHICAGO QUALIFYING JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 1, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. qualified in the top half of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock field for the 10th time this season, planting the Team Mopar/Valspar ...

STEVENS GRABS NO. 4 IN CHICAGO QUALIFYING

JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 1, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. qualified in the top half of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock field for the 10th time this season, planting the Team Mopar/Valspar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus R/T solidly in fourth place after final qualifying today for the Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals.

Stevens is seeking his first Pro Stock win for his team owner Don Schumacher, whose Schumacher Electric is based nearby in Mt. Prospect, Ill. The New Orleans native would like to add a fifth victory to his four previous career wins before he joined Don Schumacher Racing this year. He's been runner-up twice this season.

"We had a good string of qualifying runs," he said after posting a 6.694/206.32, a 6.669/206.32 (matching his career-best ET), a 6.713/205.57 and a 6.739/205.13.

"We're in the top half going into tomorrow's eliminations, which is good. We don't have Jeg (Coughlin, his teammate) first round, which is a plus," he laughed, referring to the four times this season he was matched against Coughlin. "So, I'm happy."

"We got to make a pretty quick run last night (6.669/206.32), and that felt good to do that. We hadn't run that quick in a while. Any time you go into the .60s it's always a plus.

"It's looking good. We slowed down a little bit in the last run. I think the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge didn't like the transmission we put in it. So, we'll take that one out and put in the one we had in there before."

Stevens will face Mike Edwards in first round of eliminations, for the first time this season. "Hey, whoever. It doesn't matter who is in the other lane. We have lane choice and we'll try to go some rounds tomorrow. This is Don's home race and I hope to be in the winner's circle in this one; that would be nice.

"Both cars are running really good. Jeg didn't qualify really well (14th in the quickest NHRA field in history), but he's in the field. His car broke something in the engine Friday night.

"I'm ready. I feel like this weekend is going to be a good weekend, and that it will be a long day tomorrow."

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Richie Stevens Jr. , Don Schumacher , Mike Edwards